Upheaval at Sky News

I’m not quite sure what’s been going on at Sky News, apparently they’ve been wielding the axe with people and programmes this week, and the latest high profile person to be spotlighted by this appears to be David Chater who has resigned, did he jump or was he pushed is inevitably the question that will rumble around Sky’s Osterley complex for the next few days, whether the truth will out is neither here nor there though as it’s almost inevitable he’ll either end up at ITV or the Beeb, and failing that he’ll end up writing a column and a book like all journo’s do.

I can’t say I’m terrifically sad to see him go as I’ve never been a fan of his style, and since his commentary on the first few days of America’s invasion of Iraq when he as a war journalist didn’t seem to know the difference between an air raid siren and the all clear siren I’ve never really taken him seriously; but above this my resounding memory of his coverage (which for some reason Dave and I watched in our tiny Notting Hill living room in it’s entirety) was his constant references to the dogs barking, as if it were the only important story of note: never mind the falling bombs, the stealth planes strafing the sky and the incessant thud of gas mains exploding… no, all of that’s obviously nowhere near as important compared to ‘dogs barking’ which he must have mentioned over 30 times in an hours worth of coverage.

I’ve been watching the going’s on at Sky with some interest over the past few months since they re-launched with the current more relaxed style, something which I’m not sure works for Sky: they’ve always concentrated on fast moving news, pointing out almost with religious zeal that if there’s news breaking anywhere in the world you’ll hear it at Sky News first, that seems to have been lost since the re-brand in a muddle of ‘lifestyle features’, presenter chatter and sports news that seems to dominate 20 minutes of the hour clock every hour. What they seem to need to do now is rediscover the Sky News brand and ethos, cut the crap and get back to what they’re good at, which is simply reporting the news, most of us news junkies neither know or care if the presenters like each other, or whether they are on the GI Diet, we just want the news, we want in-depth analysis with experts and we want regular headlines of UK and World news: Sky News currently don’t seem to be doing that… and until they do they’ll be fucked, ratings will continue to slide almost as fast as their credibility as a world class news provider… So come on Sky, pull your socks up, cull some more of the people (start with that irritating American and Eamon Holmes who looks more uncomfortable every day) and get back to hard up to the minute breaking news delivered by real journalists.

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